Monday, August 18, 2008


Very few men have sufficient wealth that they can live off interest, i.e. they must work for a living. Finding work, or "a job" is, therefore, critical to most men's well being, hence, the controversy over employment and unemployment. If men cannot find jobs, in our society, at least, they turn to government. In some cases to provide direct assistance, in most cases, since that continues to have a negative connotation, albeit increasingly less so, to provide jobs.

The fallacy that government can provide jobs stems from the same basic fallacy that underlies government provision of health care, i. e. that something can be bought or obtained by exchange, which, in fact, cannot be bought. Government jobs fall readily into three categories, (1) legitimate government funtions such as police, (2) make-work schemes and (3) assumption of the government of functions belonging to the free market. In the first case, the number of jobs is typically very much limited. In the second, the both the number of jobs and the duration of the program providing them is limited by the fact that people become increasingly resistant to the obvious waste involved. Therefore, the largest effort comes in transferring free market functions to the government. We usually speak of this as being inefficient, which, of course, it is, for the simple reason that those involved in such programs would have to be angels to avoid using the force of law to expand both their salaries and their scope of power beyond what the free market would allow.

No comments: